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Media Release
Release Date: December 3, 2015

A Camosun College art installation will commemorate the lives of the 14 victims of l‘École Polytechnique massacre, an event that still haunts and inspires action, even 26 years after the tragic events of December 6, 1989.

This Friday, Camosun Visual Arts students and faculty members will place seven pairs of life-sized paper cut-outs in the halls of Lansdowne’s campus buildings to represent the lives of those who died because they were women. Each of the outlines will have descriptive content to help us remember the victims, and to inform us of the stark statistics on gender-based violence that still persists in this country and around the world.

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women marks an important anniversary. “As well as commemorating the 14 women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society,” says Candace Fertile, a Camosun instructor and a member of the Status of Women Committee at the college. “It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence.”

Other remembrance activities include candle ceremonies, an open house at the Women’s Centre and a screening of the documentary Finding Dawn, an NFB film that illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Native women in this country.


Gender-based violence is still a very real phenomenon in Canada:

  • Women are 11 times more likely than men to be victims of sexual offences.
  • Women are three times more likely than men to experience criminal harassment.
  • Women with disabilities are at four times greater risk of experiencing sexual assault.
  • Women are almost four times more likely than men to experience intimate partner violence.
  • The RCMP reports that nearly 1,200 Aboriginal women and girls have been murdered or gone missing in Canada.
  • Data suggest that one-quarter of female students in college or university have experienced sexual assault or attempted sexual assault; 90% of these students knew their attacker.
  • Women are three times more likely than men to experience criminal harassment.
  • Aboriginal women are three times more likely to report experiencing violence than non-Aboriginal women.
  • Young women between the ages of 15 and 24 experience the highest rates of violence.
  • Since 1980, the number of non-Aboriginal female victims of homicide has been declining, while the number of Aboriginal female victims has remained relatively constant.
  • 8 out of 10 victims of intimate partner violence are women.
  • Aboriginal women are over-represented among Canada's murdered women; they make up 4% of the female population but represent 16% of all murdered women.
  • Sexual offences are eight times more likely to be committed against girls aged 12-17 than male youth.
  • Spousal violence against women in Canada costs an estimated $4.8 billion per year.
  • 90% of sexual assaults against women by a non-spousal accused are never reported to police.
  • Women know their sexual attacker in three-quarters of incidents.

Statistics compiled by Peter Ove, Ph.D.


Karla Sandwith, Communications strategist
Camosun office of Communications, Advancement and Planning

Last updated: December 4, 2015 1:55 pm

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